alcramer [Alfredo Cramerotti]

Check-in Budapest curatorial visitor program: Alfredo Cramerotti, Director, MOSTYN ǀ Wales

Posted in nEws and rEleases by alcramer on November 18, 2013
LUDWIG MUSEUM BUDAPEST
18th November 2013 (Monday), 6 p.m
Ludwig Museum Library
1095 Budapest, Komor Marcell utca, 1., 2nd floor
Budapest, Hungary

Whence the Future? – lecture by Alfredo Cramerotti

Alfredo Cramerotti (MOSTYN ǀ Wales) will deliver a lecture on the idea of time, knowledge and future.  Following a text co-authored with Jean-Paul Martinon (Goldsmiths College, University of London) and published in ‘The Curatorial. A Philosophy of Curating’ (Bloosmbury, 2013), Cramerotti asks us to abandon our androids, tablets, computers in order to rethink how the future comes?  His reply is that it comes from the immemorial past that old stories (for instance, in newspapers) always seem to hold ready for us to discover.  Once opened, the work then consists in curating for ourselves our own future.  With Cramerotti, the curatorial knowledge becomes the way in which the future is articulated.

The lecture will be held in English.

Short. No attention left

Posted in Thoughts.Coaching by alcramer on May 2, 2008
This is an article by Seth Godin available here:
Short books, short shows, short commercials, short ideas…
In 1960, the typical stay for a book on the New York Times bestseller list was 22 weeks. In 2006, it was two. Forty years ago, it was typical for three novels a year to reach #1. Last year, it was 23.

Advise and Consent won the Pulitzer Prize in 1960. It’s 640 pages long. On Bullshit was a bestseller in 2005; it’s 68 pages long.

Commercials used to be a minute long, sometimes two. Then someone came up with the brilliant idea of running two per minute, then four. Now there are radio ads that are less than three seconds long.
It’s not an accident that things are moving faster and getting smaller. There’s just too much to choose from. With a million or more books available at a click, why should I invest the time to read all 640 pages of Advise and Consent when I can get the idea after 50 pages?

Audible.com offers more than 30,000 titles. If an audiobook isn’t spectacular, minute to minute, it’s easier to ditch it and get another one than it is to slog through it. After all, it’s just bits on my iPod.

Of course, this phenomenon isn’t limited to intellectual property. Craigslist.org is a free classified-ad listing service. A glance at their San Francisco listings shows more than 33,000 ads for housing. That means that if an apartment doesn’t sound perfect after just a sentence or two, it’s easy to glance down at the next ad.

The end.

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Time management. In 5 steps

Posted in Tools.Coaching by alcramer on May 2, 2008

I’m talking here about Time. With capital T, since it’s the thing we mostly miss in life.

Especially if you’re self-employed, or you’re under pressure in your organization and/or familiar situation, Time is more than an essential idea in our life. Although is a convention, it’s felt like no other things.

So it’s worth to find a simple way to manage it, the most we can. it doesn’t mean being hyper-organized and hyper-anxious about organizing yours and other people’s life, but rather being aware how we spend our time.

I’m drawing some considerations from Mark McGuiness, a coach who’s running the insightful blog whishful thinking; boiling down and presenting them according to my experience. I hope that Mark won’t mind 😉

Ok, off we go:

1. Prioritise important things, but not urgent.

The trick is not allowing anything important become urgent. Do it with a schedule, prepare a timetable for what is going to come, try to spread important things over a week, or a month.

2. Ring-fence a bit of time, every day, for important goals and dreams in your life.

30 minutes in daytime (during your break, your lunch, or within your working hours); and 30 minutes in the evening (when you come home, after dinner, or before going to bed). Do not demand lots from this short sessions; adopt an easy attitude, like “I’m not going to work on that letter/application/project; I’ll just open the file and have a look at it…”

3. Reply only to yesterday’s e-mails.

Set an ‘_action’ folder in your inbox; put them all the email you receive during today’s work, and don’t reply to any of them. Deal only with one day (yesterday) bunch of e-mails, and it becomes manageable, because it’s limited, and you know in advance it’s limited.

4. Sort everything you have to do (job, family, interests, passions, volunteer work) in 5 folders/buckets/trays.

– the ‘_action’ folder of your e-mail inbox

– family and house

– job commitments

– passions and interests

– friends and volunteer commitments

This ‘buckets’ allow yourself to get off your head the seemingly infinite number of things you have to do. You’ll get through them day-by-day, finishing them and changing them over time, and keeping them in the right place at the right moment: you’ll never feel again that overwhelming sensation of not being able to keep the pace. Review the ‘trays’ every week, like 30 minutes on Saturday morning.

5. (and last) There so inspiration to wait for: only a lot of perspiration to do.

That means, you don’t wait for the right chance to do something; you create the conditions for that something to happen. You do what you ought to do (to yourself and to others); then let happen what might happen.

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On Project Making

Posted in Tools.Coaching by alcramer on November 12, 2007

I’ll try here to outline a few basic facts for setting a creative project, like an exhibition, a research, or a writing piece. Being just only an outline, each single point has to be developed, broadened and deepened as much as you can, and linked with your attitude and experience in dealing with the subject. Let’s start:

1. Take upon only ONE project at the time. You might have many brilliant ideas, but make an effort in asking yourself which are the more urgent and important for you, and which, for instance, can bring you a financial fee, or a further step in a commission.

2. Once you have chosen the subject and the form your project will have, compare and couple your expectations with A) your budget and B) your deadline. Reverse your idea: money and time constraints are not limits, rather possibilities. They are powerful tools to get you focused.

3. To structure your project, you must go from the simplicity of the original idea (probably just an intuition, or a single-line image), to a whole complexity of inputs: lateral thoughts, external links, people feedback, practical and intellectual consequences, additional researches, etc. This process – to be contained in your time-frame – will make you relatively confident of your knowledge, and will give you different perspectives on the subject. After that, you have to re-compress your material into one, single, high-impact simplicity of expression, in which your work re-gain a goal within a system.

4. Execute your project to a completion, including details, feedback and final evaluation, within the reasonable time-set you planned in advance.

5. In your execution:

– Use simple words, in a direct way. No jargon.

– Be synthetic in your communication to partners and public. Attention requires brevity.

– Make an effort to TELL something, not just to present it. Be sure the structure of your project is clear and follows a logical course, or give the tools to understand if it’s illogical. No concepts or displays understandable only to their creators.

– Do not underestimate your public. Give them a topic which is valid and open to the dialogue, with you and among them. Offer great value for the audience’s time and interest. They could easily not come back if you are delivering poor content and/or form, and you’ll never get them again.

– Offer the audience something to bring home with them. It doesn’t have to be expensive, or cutting-edge: even a well-design leaflet, a postcard, an Internet address, a printed title on a string of paper. A bit of marketing doesn’t harm anybody, without exaggeration.

6. When you approach the next project, understand it as a whole body of knowledge, and not as a task, or assignment you have to make. This is fundamental also for activity like administration, fund-raising, or preparatory work.

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Protected: Time passing

Posted in StorieMicro [Italian/English] by alcramer on November 11, 2007

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Simplicity

Posted in Tools.Coaching by alcramer on November 10, 2007

This is something I have written on ten pages A4, taped to the wall opposite my desk, to create a vertical totem. First of all, it’s not mine. the laws of simplicity have been nurtured and published in a marvellously-crafted little book by John Maeda, ex-MIT design guru.

But it’s not to talk about him that I started this post. It’s to give you a precious tool, the first of the series to come, which goes like that: do simplify whatever can get simplified.

At the cost of seeming banal, do take the path of simplicity in whatever you are doing, or planning to do. You’ll always be in time to complicate the matter, personally or through someone else. If you want to get close (at least) to achieve what you are planning, cut the 30% of your planned expectations, and consequently reduce to at least 50% your planned actions.

This is not a call for banality. It’s a call for concreteness. And getting concrete, means having results. Having results, means producing consequences. Producing consequences, means injecting stimuli for another projects, and future achievements. Not to mention that, having finished a work, means getting paid. Sounds good, uh?

Here are the 10 laws on a string: for more details, visit the lawsofsimplicity website:

First round – the basics to get simple:

1. Reduce: either shrink, hide, or embody (the simplest way to achive simplicity is through thoughtful reduction: when in doubt, just remove – carefully). Lessen what you can and conceal everything else without losing the sense of inherent value.

2. Organize: sort, label, integrate, prioritize (organization makes a system of many appear fewer: and working with fewer – objects, concepts, functions – makes life simpler). Everything is important, but knowing where to start is the critical first step.

3. Time: again – shrink, hide, embody (savings in time feels like simplicity: this is really about reducing time). When time is saved – or appears to have been – the complex feels simpler.

Second round – here comes the hard work:

4. Learn: basics are the beginning, repeat yourself often, avoid creating desperation, inspire with examples, never forget to repeat yourself (to easing the process of understanding: relate – translate – surprise!). Difficult tasks seem easier when they are ‘need to know’ rather than ‘nice to know’, so connect deeply to the greater context of learning and life.

5. Differences: simplicity and complexity need each other (acknowledging contrast helps to identify qualities that we desire). Figuring out the rhythm of how simplicity and complexity occur in time and space holds the key.

6. Context: what lies in the periphery of simplicity is definitely not peripheral (ambience: that which appears to be of immediate relevance may not be nearly as important compared to everything else around). When there is less, we appreciate everything much more.

Third round – if you are aspire at changing the world (almost):

7. Emotion: more emotions are better than less (just the right kind of more: ‘feel, and feel for’). Achieving clarity isn’t difficult. The true challenge is achieving comfort.

8. Trust: in simplicity we trust (lean back, and trust the water. And just enjoy something). Trust unquestionably, but be open to undo-ing that trust whenever deserved.

9. Failure: some things can never be made simple (knowing that simplicity is elusive in certain cases is an opportunity to make more constructive use of your time in the future, instead of chasing after an apparent impossible goal). One man’s failed experiment in simplicity can be another man’s success as a beautiful form of complexity.

A final Intuition:

10. The one: simplicity is about subtracting the obvious, and adding the meaningful

(which may be ‘coupled’ with 4 more keys in attempting simplicity, such as: more appears like less by removing it far away / openness simplifies complexity / power: use less, gain more / technology, as professions, can disable the average person.)

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